The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still on pace to grab the top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, which means we're going to be talking quarterbacks. A lot. The latest anonymous NFC personnel executive comment on the top two quarterbacks in the NFL comes courtesy of Philly.com.
"Even Mariota and Winston, neither of those guys is [Andrew] Luck. Mariota is closer to Luck than Winston as far as being pro-ready. They're both better than [Blake] Bortles, who was the first quarterback taken last year. They're both better than [Ryan] Tannehill when he came out. But neither of them is a slam dunk."
That's similar to what we keep hearing from mock drafts, draftniks and leaks from other evaluators: Marcus Mariota is the better prospect, at this point. He's not viewed that way universally, but it's the consensus position right now. With five months left that evaluation could change rapidly, but it fits what I've seen from their play, too.
Winston is talented and has played in a pro-style system, but there are question marks all over his game and off the field. Playing in an NFL-style offense is not much of a plus if you keep throwing interceptions and inaccurate passes, although Winston has been able to compensate for those mistakes, too. Mariota's only real question mark is whether or not he can adapt to more of a pro-style system, or whether his NFL team can adapt their offense to him. That's a legitimate question, but it applies to a lesser extent to every single prospect entering the NFL: no quarterback has faced NFL defenses, and no college system is equivalent to an NFL offense.
Assuming both Winston and Mariota come out and the Bucs hold on to a top three draft pick, we're going to have this debate over, and over, and over, and over, and over again over the next months. So buckle up!